Art · Reflection

Lessons Learned

This year I juggled 3 art classes, a new emphasis on choice and Teaching for Artistic Behaviour, and having multiple projects going at one time to keep students busy and learning.

I felt that assigning multiple activities worked well because students worked at different paces and also needed time to incubate ideas. So while they were planning for one project, they could still work at another. I plan to keep multitasking within the curriculum.

I’ve always had difficulty with due dates. As an artist, I know that sometimes inspiration isn’t always there on demand and some days I find it more easy to be creative than others. So I tend to be more lenient with my students than I should. I learned from a visiting artist to consider that as working artists, students will have to meet deadlines, and it’s a good idea to inculcate this concept in high school. But I couldn’t figure out how to do this and still respect their creative needs until I read a post from about collecting work ON the deadline and assigning a mark, even if incomplete, making it the student’s responsibility to finish and resubmit for re-evaluation.

I had two areas that caused me problems, that I intend to address next year. The first was in trying to identify who did what. Even though I repeatedly requested that they write their names on their work, many failed to do so. Since I only saw grade 10s once a week, and often, because of special events, they missed their class, I had trouble remembering who was working on what piece. So I’m going to have interim checks of work with a check list, including name on all art. I may make these checks formative (As) or summative (Of) or alternate, to keep them on their toes. You have been warned, kids!

The other area that I want to improve is the method of submitting assignments. The art room can be a hectic (and yes, messy) place. I need to implement a box system where everything goes into one place. And all reflections MUSt be taped on the back of the work.  Wet work will not be accepted because it can’t be stacked and might smudge. So only dry work with a taped reflection will be considered ready to hand in. Although I can see where this might not be as practical, if students are working on a painting right up until the end of a class when it’s due. I guess I will ask a ‘sheilah’ of my Art Teachers’ networks.

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